IMF Spokesman Denies ‘Divergences’ With EC,ECB on Greece
By Heather Scott
WASHINGTON (MNI) – The International Monetary Fund has no
“divergences” on Greece with the European Commission and European
Central Bank, an IMF spokesman said Thursday, denying press reports but
declining to comment specifically on the issue of debt sustainability.
MNI reported earlier Thursday that the EC and ECB said in a report
on the fifth review of the aid program that Greece will not meet its
7.8% deficit target for this year, despite the new austerity measures
announced by the Greek government recently.
And other media quoted sources saying the IMF disagrees with the
EC/ECB estimates on debt sustainability and wants to wait before
releasing the sixth loan disbursement.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice declined to comment on the specifics of
the press reports but denied the differences.
“I would like to echo what I think the spokesman for the EC said
earlier this morning about there being no divergences between the EC,
IMF and ECB,” Rice told reporters in the regular biweekly press
“On the debt sustainability of course that will be part of review,
that will be published as usual,” he said, referring to the IMF’s
delayed fifth review of the Greece program, which was to have been
completed in mid-October.
“We continue to work closely and effectively with our other
partners,” he said.
The EC recommended that the sixth tranche of a bailout loan to
Greece be disbursed “as soon as possible,” since “the agreed prior
actions on fiscal consolidation, privatization and market reform, which
were announced by the government, have been legislated.”
This disbursement of an amount of EUR 5.8 billion will take place
under the bilateral loans pooled by the EC, as agreed under the Greek
loan facility agreement of May 2010. The IMF is expected to contribute
an additional E2.2 billion to this disbursement, the report said.
Rice said the issue of private sector involvement in the debt
restructuring is one that is between the Greek government and it’s
creditors, and those talks are ongoing.
“The goal is to help Greece as much as possible to exit this crisis
and to get back onto the path of growth and jobs,” Rice said, noting
that the IMF has stressed that “reforms be implemented in socially
acceptable way” and that “the burden of adjustment be shared across
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